Hyundai and Kia roll out free software patch to keep some cars from getting stolen

Ethel Walsh

New York

Hyundai and Kia are presenting a new cost-free software patch to proprietors of 8.3 million vehicles that are so effortless to steal that some insurance policies businesses refuse to give protection for them in particular marketplaces.

The vehicles in query, 2015-2019 Hyundai and Kia styles with switch-vital ignitions — as opposed to press-button commence — are about 2 times as likely to be stolen as other automobiles of a identical age. The motive: Lots of of these automobiles deficiency some of the primary car theft prevention technologies bundled in most other autos, even in all those years, according to the Highway Loss Info Institute.

The types in issue do not have electronic immobilizers, which count on a laptop chip in the auto and a further in the essential that connect to verify that the key belongs with that car or truck. With out the ideal essential, an immobilizer need to do just that — cease the motor vehicle from going.

These styles turned the issue of a social media trend in which thieves filmed on their own and others stealing Hyundai and Kia motor vehicles and took them on joyrides. Thefts of these cars resulted in at minimum 14 crashes and 8 fatalities, in accordance to the National Freeway Targeted traffic Basic safety Administration.

The two South Korean automakers have appear up with a software patch to take care of the dilemma, the automakers and NHTSA explained Tuesday. Hyundai and Kia operate as individual companies in the United States, but Hyundai Motor Group owns a substantial stake in Kia, and different Hyundai and Kia versions share considerably of their engineering.

The patch will be installed free of charge of charge on vulnerable models, with application that needs an true crucial in the ignition to turn the vehicle on. (Intruders have been making use of the suggestions of USB cables to switch the ignition change) The software program will also block the motor vehicle from remaining started out just after the doors have been locked employing the essential fob distant manage. The auto will require to be unlocked in advance of it can be began. The software program also extends the length of the alarm audio from 30 seconds to a comprehensive minute. Hyundai dealers will also affix window stickers stating that the car or truck has anti-theft software program installed.

Hyundai will get started furnishing the program immediately for the most preferred — and most routinely stolen — susceptible models. Kia mentioned it has started out to provide the update to some prospects and expects to make it accessible to impacted automobiles “over the following several months.”

Correction: An previously version of this story misstated when Kia’s software program would be set up.

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